The National Toy Hall of Fame is in the city of Rochester, New York. Beginning in 1998, the Hall of Fame began accepting nominations from “anyone” for its HOF of toys. The Hall recognizes the contributions of toys and games that have sustained their popularity for many years. If you go to the Hall’s Website www.toyhalloffame.org a nomination form is available, PLUS much information on the toys that are in the Hall.
To give you an idea of the type of toys that have been inducted from 1998 to 2017, here are the 11 initially inducted toys in 1998: Barbie, Crayola Crayons, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, LEGO, Marbles, Monopoly, Play-Doh, Teddy bear, and Tinkertoys. (Whoa, my childhood just flashed before me!)
In the years from 1999 to 2017, the number of inductees varied. In 1999 and 2000, six and five more toys gained entrance to the hall. For example, Roller Skates and Radio Flyer Wagon were among the arrivals in 1999. Bicycle and Mr. Potato Head (and other toys) came in 2000. In the years of 2001 to 2017, two or three toys were admitted every year. Such childhood favorites included (check your pulse periodically as memories return): Tonka Trucks, Raggedy Ann, Checkers, Scrabble, Rocking Horse (what color was yours?), Candy Land, Lionel Trains, Easy-Bake Oven, Atari 2600 Game System, Stick (the first toy?), Ball (the second or most numerous toy?), The Game of Life (the board game, not what begins the hour after your graduation), Dollhouse, Star Wars Action Figures, Rubber Duck, Rubik’s Cube, Puppet, and Swing.
Before I forget: at the website, you will find a list of every toy in the Hall of Fame, when they were chosen, and the history of each toy. Last year (2017), three more toys gained entrance: Clue, the Wiffle Ball, and Paper Airplanes. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Here are 2 more toys and some of the information about each. Remember Stick? The Hall of Fame had these comments about the toy. “The stick may be the world’s oldest toy. Animals and children play with sticks. Sticks can turn into swords and magic wands. Sticks are not only possibly the oldest toys, they’re possibly the best!” People are serious about these toys.
And I must mention MY favorite toy: Ball, inducted 2009. “Rolling, throwing, kicking, catching, bouncing, and batting. The Ball is nearly as old as civilization itself. Ancient Greek legends referred to ball play in Odysseus. Like few other playthings, the Ball facilitates and promotes free play among people of all ages.”
As of this moment, there are 66 toys in the Hall of Fame (if you count Raggedy Ann and Andy as two. They were inducted separately in 2002 and 2007). Will I live to see some of my favorites gain entrance (eg, Nerf Ball, Pick-Up-Sticks, Tiddledy Winks, Jack-in-the-Box, Sock Monkey, Clown Bop Bag)?
What other toys from YOUR childhood would you hope to see gain entrance to their Hall of Fame?